As a self-professed process-centric marketer, I learned it is far better to market and sell to someone after taking the time to understand their potential business challenges.
Acquiring this in-depth knowledge, extends well beyond the creation of a single marketing persona, and focuses on developing a much deeper understanding of the potential buyers and underlying business processes, supporting specific business functions or roles.
It requires a mindset that cares less about what you do and is hyper-focused on understanding what your customers do.
Communicating what a company does and offers is very straightforward; it becomes much more difficult for companies when those messages and offers require positioning to meet a specific audience need.
Achieving that desired audience messaging context and relevancy is what ensures future business conversations.
The best way, to connect your solution value consistently to what a customer most desires, is through an improved understanding of their potential needs and motivations. If a person cannot correlate the benefit in what you offer to what they do, they rarely take action.
For that reason alone, companies must devote more time to understanding the issues and underlying business processes that are keeping their target audiences up at night.
While that seems intuitively obvious, this rarely happens. After all, acquiring this in-depth knowledge is arduous work. However, let’s suppose for the moment that you have done the hard work and have captured and leveraged that improved customer knowledge; now think how much easier it would be to successfully market and sell your products?
By way of example, let’s presume you market and sell to specific roles responsible for bringing new products to market. Wouldn’t it be far better, if you had a comprehensive understanding of the people, issues, and processes, involved in bringing those products to commercialization?
Consider these benefits:
- You now have absolute confidence, you have identified the required people (roles) you need to reach that has a potential influence and the authority to make decisions on this topic.
- For those identified people and their specific responsibilities, you now understand and have documented the issues and the underlying business processes they care about the most.
- Having this improved understanding, you now know how to position what your company offers, in context to how it helps a specific individual (role) to be more successful.
- Lastly, by engaging in this process, you have a greater appreciation for the types of challenges and issues your customers face, by attempting to walk in their shoes.
Through this approach, you think less about yourself and more about your customers:
- How are they generating new ideas for new products?
- How do they determine which ideas are most profitable?
- How do they share ideas and designs within and outside the company?
- How do they capture their product costs early in the product life-cycle?
- How do they manage ideas from idea conception to product delivery?
- How do they handle project details in bringing those products to market?
- How do they manage product regulatory compliance obligations like REACh, RoHS, GHS, and Substances of Very High Concern ( SVHC )?
- How do they source and manage suppliers for their products?
- How do they ensure those suppliers provide quality and compliant materials?
- What pressures are they feeling, to successfully market their products?
- Are they moving from a product-oriented sales model to a solution model?
- What are the implications of that change on related sales and billing processes?
- Are they investigating technologies like IoT for extending product intelligence and what are the use cases that make the most sense for their industry and for selling to their customers?
- Are their products subject to recycling regulations like WEEE?
- etc., etc.
These are the types of issues that are top of mind for individuals supporting the value chain for bringing new products to market. They don’t wake up in the morning thinking about what new technology or product they should purchase.
Companies need to be able to help these unique individuals connect the dots between the solutions offered and the value they deliver.
By acquiring in-depth audience knowledge, companies are far better equipped to connect these dots for their different audiences, throughout the various stages of the Buyer’s Journey.